With the enactment of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009—significantly augmenting the most powerful anti-fraud weapon in the federal government’s arsenal—False Claims Act (FCA) matters require the skill and experience of veteran FCA investigations teams and former Defense and Justice Department lawyers more than ever. Blending the strengths of a top-ranked litigation/investigations practice that has handled some of the most renowned internal and government investigations in recent years and one of the most prominent regulatory affairs departments in the country comprised of lawyers with previous experience serving in senior positions at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Defense (DOD) and other agencies of the federal government, WilmerHale brings significant depth to its False Claims Act representations.

WilmerHale relies on the insight of lawyers who were directly responsible for the litigation, management and settlement of major FCA investigations and proceedings during periods of previous government service—and who now defend against them. Drawing from these critical experiences, the WilmerHale team includes a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States (who had ultimate oversight over DOJ’s Civil Fraud Unit and who was also responsible for overseeing all FCA litigation during earlier service as General Counsel of the DOD). Our FCA practitioners also leverage the knowledge of more than a dozen senior Justice Department officials and former Assistant United States Attorneys, including the former Deputy Chief of the Civil Division of one the country’s most active US Attorney’s Offices.

On False Claims Act matters—including those stemming from allegations of procurement fraud or other regulatory infractions involving substantial civil, administrative and criminal exposure—WilmerHale’s FCA lawyers have assisted clients at essentially every point in the process. We have conducted countless internal investigations in instances in which our clients have reason to believe that an FCA violation may have occurred, and have provided advice on any voluntary disclosure obligations flowing from the discovered conduct. Relying on the additional experience in government contracting held by lawyers from WilmerHale’s Defense, National Security and Government Contracts Group, we have also designed and implemented improved compliance and training programs to ensure the conduct is not repeated.

We have also assisted our clients respond to hundreds of federal subpoenas and other forms of information requests, including subpoenas issued by DOJ, the Inspectors General of numerous federal agencies, and other government enforcement bodies. In each instance, we work closely with our clients to formulate a cost-effective strategy aimed at resolving the matter at preliminary stages of the inquiry and without any admission of liability. On many engagements, we have been successful in reaching administrative resolutions at the agency level through a constructive dialogue with suspension and debarment officials, minimizing further collateral impact and preserving our clients’ critical status as a presently responsible contractor.

Our FCA team’s unmatched experience enables us to approach each matter with a deep understanding of the government’s objectives—which is fundamental to resolving the most serious matters in which the DOJ has served a Grand Jury or other subpoena and in which a qui tam plaintiff may be involved. In such instances, the WilmerHale team has obtained favorable resolution of numerous matters without any formal action being filed. In other instances, we have obtained early dismissal or resolution of suits brought by qui tam plaintiffs and the government by focusing on precedent-setting legal defenses. By conducting credible internal investigations and negotiating with the DOJ, we have also helped clients to avoid criminal prosecution and to accomplish appropriate resolutions of parallel criminal, civil and administrative proceedings that preserve our clients’ continuing ability to do business with, or to receive funds from, the federal government.

In the rare instance that an FCA case does go to trial, WilmerHale relies on a deep bench of litigators who have taken FCA matters to trial and have won, both at the trial level and on appeal. In so doing, our FCA team leverages the strengths and experience of a leading Litigation/Controversy Department that has tried to verdict more than 75 cases since 2002 and an Appellate Practice that has received the highest ranking possible by Chambers USA and that has argued more than 130 cases before United States Supreme Court.

As we enter an era of substantially increased government spending—combined with increased incentives to whistleblowers and an intense public scrutiny of the expenditure of federal funds—it is more critical than ever for clients from all business sectors to engage the most experienced firms when FCA matters arise. Transcending industries, WilmerHale clients have included those operating not only in the core defense and national security sectors, but also in the other sectors facing the most enforcement and FCA litigation activity, including the financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, health care, international construction and information technology sectors. And for those clients, WilmerHale has compiled an unmatched record of successfully resolving the most challenging of False Claims Act matters. In recent engagements, WilmerHale lawyers have:

  • Negotiated a global settlement of all FCA claims and other civil liability for a major aerospace company in connection with multiple criminal and civil investigations arising from allegations of conflicts of interest and the use of competitor proprietary information.
  • Successfully resolved, for a nominal sum and without any admission of liability, a qui tam action brought by a former employee who alleged that our defense contractor client had misrepresented the quality of certain circuit boards supplied to the US military.
  • Successfully tried to verdict a major qui tam action involving alleged bid-rigging of construction contracts. In the course of the case, which lasted more than a decade and involved a seven-week jury trial, we briefed and argued dozens of legal issues that arise in FCA litigation.
  • Represented a major financial services company in a Department of Justice criminal and civil investigation relating to the company’s participation in a federally subsidized loan program.
  • Secured a decision terminating debarment proceedings on behalf of an Air Force contractor, without an administrative agreement or any adverse action; settled asserted civil fraud claim without admission of liability or payment of multiple damages or penalties; and resolved related contract dispute with no-cost termination for convenience.
  • Represented a health care company in an FCA matter in which the DOJ was persuaded not to file suit against the company, and the company settled on favorable terms with the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Represented a government contractor in an FCA case alleging that the company failed to supply the General Services Administration with office products from permissible countries under the Buy American Act and Trade Agreements Act.
  • Obtained early dismissal for a defense contractor in qui tam litigation alleging misrepresentation of costs in connection with a major Navy weapons program, following the government’s assertion of the State Secrets privilege.
  • Assisted a major defense contractor in evaluating its FCA liability and exposure based on allegations of the rigging of a bid for an information technology contract.
  • Won dismissal of a qui tam action filed by a former employee alleging that a major pharmaceutical company misrepresented the relative potency and cost of two of its medications.
  • Secured the dismissal on favorable terms of a qui tam FCA suit brought against a defense contractor and the company’s former CEO arising from the sale of allegedly defective products to the US Air Force.
  • Successfully resolved, on a civil basis, parallel civil and criminal investigations of a health care company by a US Attorney’s Office arising from qui tam allegations that the company had submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid in violation of the FCA.
  • Won a dismissal of an FCA suit against a defense contractor client on the basis of the FCA’s public disclosure bar.
  • Obtained a global civil resolution on behalf of a medical device manufacturer in an investigation by a US Attorney’s Office arising from a former employee’s allegations that the company had an inadequate complaint reporting system under the Food Drug & Cosmetic Act and had misrepresented the quality of numerous medical devices to the government.
  • Represented a major financial services company with respect to a qui tam complaint relating to alleged false certifications.
  • Secured the dismissal of an FCA retaliatory discharge claim against a major pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Resolved on favorable terms an investigation and related debarment proceeding of a medical device manufacturer by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and a US Attorney’s Office arising from the sale of allegedly defective medical devices to the US Army.
  • Obtained early dismissal for a non-bank small business loan lender in an FCA civil action based on allegations of false certifications in connection with a Small Business Administration loan program.
  • Assisted an international construction company with the resolution of false claims act allegations regarding the source and origin of construction materials on a government-financed construction project in the Middle East.

With the enactment of the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009—significantly augmenting the most powerful anti-fraud weapon in the federal government’s arsenal—False Claims Act (FCA) matters require the skill and experience of veteran FCA investigations teams and former Defense and Justice Department lawyers more than ever. Blending the strengths of a top-ranked litigation/investigations practice that has handled some of the most renowned internal and government investigations in recent years and one of the most prominent regulatory affairs departments in the country comprised of lawyers with previous experience serving in senior positions at the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Department of Defense (DOD) and other agencies of the federal government, WilmerHale brings significant depth to its False Claims Act representations.

WilmerHale relies on the insight of lawyers who were directly responsible for the litigation, management and settlement of major FCA investigations and proceedings during periods of previous government service—and who now defend against them. Drawing from these critical experiences, the WilmerHale team includes a former Deputy Attorney General of the United States (who had ultimate oversight over DOJ’s Civil Fraud Unit and who was also responsible for overseeing all FCA litigation during earlier service as General Counsel of the DOD). Our FCA practitioners also leverage the knowledge of more than a dozen senior Justice Department officials and former Assistant United States Attorneys, including the former Deputy Chief of the Civil Division of one the country’s most active US Attorney’s Offices.

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